Transparency isn’t just a buzzword in the business world. It’s proving to be a mainstay regarding what companies need to have culturally in order to remain competitive.
When you cultivate a company culture of transparency, it draws in some of the best talents. It’s something employees don’t just appreciate, but demand. Also, there’s not just the need for transparency in the business world, but in culture, politics and the world in general, particularly with the pervasiveness of social media.
When you’re a company that works to build transparency, your employees will trust you more and be more satisfied in their positions, plus there’s less focus on anxiety and gossip, and more focus on performance.
The following are some fundamental ways that are simple but effective for improving corporate transparency.
One of the biggest areas you can be transparent that will have a positive impact on your culture is with your financials.
It can be intimidating for company leaders to share financials, particularly when they’re not so rosy, but ultimately what is happening with a situation like this is that employees are empowered to see where issues exist, and independently work to make changes that can remedy these specific problems.
Also, companies should consider automating departments such as accounts payable and incorporating software solutions like a business rules engine. This allows for more financial transparency but also improved efficiency because it takes the secrecy, the guesswork, and the complex elements out of the equation when it comes to expense reports and invoicing.
The concept of developing transparent workflows and processes builds on the idea of financial transparency.
[pullquote]Companies can improve their level of transparency and likely employee satisfaction as well, simply by implementing the use of project management tools and collaborative workflow platforms.[/pullquote]
These tools let employees easily see what’s happening either across their department or maybe company-wide, and they let people quickly communicate, access and share relevant information.
It should also be noted that access isn’t always enough. It’s also important to provide employees with information, explanations, and context.
Be Forthcoming With Bad News
Being transparent with just the good news isn’t enough. It’s essential that you’re proactive with bad news if you want a truly open culture across your company.
Rumors or misinformation can be much more damaging than the truth of bad information in many cases, so before that happens, executives and business leaders should work to share the truth of what’s going on, even if it’s negative.
Seek Out Feedback
A transparent organization is one that seeks out feedback and doesn’t run from it or try to hide it. Use social media and other channels to encourage feedback from customers, and also make sure that you’re asking employees for their feedback regularly.
Employees who feel safe sharing their thoughts and ideas are going to think more like owners of an organization, as opposed to feeling like their opinions are stifled or disregarded.
Finally, a transparent culture is about strategizing as much as any other business effort. Make sure you define metrics for success that will allow you to measure how well you’ve done at encouraging transparency over time and to see places where improvements can still be made. – For more business improvement tips, click here!